Category: Comix (page 1 of 10)

Inktober Day Twenty-Nine: Surprise

A quick sketch of Jaeger, as a surprise for Carla, who’s been on an inking marathon these last couple days.

Inktober Day Twenty-Seven: Creepy

Earlier this week I asked Facebook for suggestions for one of my Inktober drawings, and good old comix buddy Tom Beland chimed in with the photo below saying, and I quote:

Paint me like one of your French lovahhhhhhs

I told him that today’s prompt was “Creepy” and he said

you say that like I should be insulted

So here y’go: Tom Beland in the style of Tom Beland. Which isn’t that creepy at all, really.

But you know what is creepy? THE FACT THAT WE’VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR FIFTEEN YEARS. When the hell’d we get so old, Tom?

The one and only Tom Beland

A whole ten years in the making, SPQR Blues is finally being collected in graphic-novel format — as long as we can all help fund Carol Burrell’s Kickstarter, that is!

If you haven’t already read the comic (get started here!), here’s a bit about the story:

SPQR Blues is set in ancient Rome in the years leading up to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. I (aka Klio) began the webcomic ten years ago as part of relearning to draw after recovering from repetitive stress and nerve injury.

Ordinary guys need epics too: Rather than the more typical Roman epic about gladiators and orgies and imperial assassinations (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it’s about the lives of ordinary people in the city of Herculaneum, Pompeii’s less famous neighbour–though there are the occasional murders, mysteries, banquets, and battles. Many of the characters are based on people who really lived in the town. Our hero Marcus Antonius Felix, the self-described descendent of a slave of the much more famous Marcus Antonius, arrives jobless, homeless, and missing his clothing, but carrying a lot of secrets. The first job he gets (after putting on some clothes) is as bodyguard for a wealthy teenage girl in danger, Petronia Iusta.

Subsequently: intrigue, murders, flashbacks, goddesses, star-crossed lovers, ursine intervention, more misplacement of clothing, heroic accountants, gambling, slave-dealing, swords, sandals, earthquakes, seven emperors, and a jug of wine.

On top of being a fantastic artist, writer, and editor, Carol’s an all-round super person. Please take a second and have a look at her comic, and if you’re able, make a pledge!

Microaggressions

That thing where both you and your husband get invited to speak at a function, and despite your very similar careers in comics, you get subtly different levels of interest. See if you can spot the differences:

Dear Mr. Sizer,

I’m a student intern with the [Organization Redacted], an organization dedicated to promoting literature and writers in [Location Redacted].

On Saturday, June 13th, we’re running a comic book writing and mini comic making workshop. Given your expertise, we were wondering if you would be our guest speaker.

Payment will be provided. We’d require you to do a half hour presentation plus critique the finished minicomics our participants will make in the workshop.

Given that we’d like to start advertising this week, with Free Comic Book Day just around the corner, I’d appreciate hearing back from you today or tomorrow. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
[Name Redacted]

Dear Ms. Irwin,

My name is [Name Redacted] and I’m a student-intern with the [Organization Redacted], an organization for supporting authors in [Location Redacted].

On June 13th, we’re hosting a comics writing and minicomics making workshop. We were wondering if you’d be willing to come and be our guest speaker and judge the resulting minicomics.

Payment can be provided. Given that we need to start advertising soon and with FCBD just around the corner, we’d appreciate you responding today if possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
[Name Redacted]

Vögelein now on Comixology!

Good news! You can now buy both Vögelein books at Comixology. These have been in the works for about a year now, and I’m really excied to have them available. If you’ve never tried Comixology’s “assisted view” reading format, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s pretty neat, and adds a subtle dynamism to digital reading. Thanks, Comixology!

Hourly Comics Day

… Two weeks late, but still. I didn’t realize it only happened on February 1st! I’ll be more punctual next time around. Click each image to embiggen.

Paul has a new book out!

Good news: Paul’s newest book, a graphic novella, has just been accepted by Comixology, and you can now buy it digitally as a Guided View PDF! Here are the details:

“In 90 minutes, everything can change…”
It’s live and digital and ready to purchase! My latest graphic novella MIXTAPE: 1984 is NOW available to download via Comixology for your phone, tablet or laptop.

This is my first 100% digital release, and I’m excited to see how far it will go! If you have friends who love comics, 80’s music, awkward stories about first love or any combination therein, please share this as far and wide as you can. Your support and help with boosting my signal is appreciated, please and thank you!

We do have a few physical copies here at the house, so if you’d like one, please be sure to drop us a line and we’ll make sure one gets into your hands.

Congratulations, Paul! There’s no better feeling for a comics creator than to release a new book. Hooray!

I’ll be at SPX

I’ll be leaving tomorrow for The Small Press Expo, my favorite show of all time. This is my first SPX since 2009, and I’m really excited to see everyone again, show off my new book — and of course, enjoy the chocolate fountain. Is there still a chocolate fountain? I hope so.

This marks SPX #6 for me, and I have such great memories of all the previous years — it’s where I met some of my best friends in the field, and every year I meet new, inspiring artists I’ve never heard of.

If you’re anywhere near Washington DC this weekend, come say hello!

Off to Wizard World!

Sorry for the repeat info, but I just had to show off this great banner that Paul made for me. We leave for Wizard World Chicago this morning, and we’ll be there all four days, in Artist’s Alley at Table C-41. Hope to see you there!

Wizard World Chicago / Chicago Comic Con!

Hey, everybody! This weekend I’ll be a guest at Wizard World Chicago, all four days, from Thursday August 21 through Sunday August 24. Paul and I will be exhibiting in Artist’s Alley at Table C-41.

I’ll have Clockwork Game trade paperbacks, both Vögelein books, and a bunch of clockwork jewelry — probably my very last batch, too, as I’m running out of gears.

My schedule is pretty simple: I’ll be at the table pretty much all day every day, except for a panel that I’ll be moderating on Friday:

Creativity That Lasts
Friday, August 22
2:00-2:45PM
Room 6
I’ll be speaking with Josh Elder, C.S. Marks, and Jack Reher.

This panel is an incredibly fun, off the cuff discussion about creativity within various mediums such as art, writing, music, design, and more. As an artist, writer, actor, musician or creator, there is nothing more challenging than the development of the creative process. Is art birthed from the spontaneous or is it a result of a carefully crafted rhythm and structure? In this panel, esteemed creators will describe how to overcome creative obstacles and share their keys to unleashing creativity.

If you’re in town, stop by and say hello. Hope to see you there!

Amazing Vögelein Cosplay!

Earlier this year, a fan of mine emailed me to ask if she could cosplay Vögelein at an upcoming comic convention. Of course I said yes, and yesterday I received a bunch of pictures from her that absolutely stunned me. Have a look at the amazing work of art Rebekah W. brought to the 2014 Denver Comic Con:


I mean, look at the detail! A friend of mine said, “A lot of love went into that costume,” and it’s really true. She made the wings, the dress, the prosthetic ears, got a (really good-looking) wig, and even built both keys from scratch.



Seriously, look at all the detail she put into the wings. They’re amazing, and must have taken weeks to build.


This one’s my favorite, though. It really looks like she’s flying!


And then some jerks went and put her in a cage. I’m not worried, though. She can totally break out of there.

I’m so impressed at the job that Rebekah did translating my character into real life. This is only the second time anybody’s cosplayed one of my characters (a friend of mine here in Kalamazoo was the first, a few years ago on Halloween) and I’m just so honored by her work. How lucky am I, as an artist? How many people get to create something, release it into the world, and then find out it affected someone so deeply?

One last note: It turns out an old college buddy of mine, who’s well-familiar with my books, was working at the convention and actually glimpsed the elusive Vögelein on the wing — but she was busy checking in artists and couldn’t stop to chase her down, then lost sight of her forever in the crowd. “At first I wasn’t sure what I saw; just that I recognised it,” she said. “Then it hit me after I had time to let it sink in but I hadn’t any proof.” Fitting, wouldn’t you say?

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis have a new book — er, webcomic? — out!

Hooray, hooray! Fire up a new browser window, because Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis have a new book out! It’s the story of Alan Turing’s life, and as you may be able to guess from standing next to me for five minutes, I’m kind of nerdy about history, especially the kind of true story that involves a brilliant, driven man who helped break the Nazi code during World War II:

Our world is one of computers and secure communications, and Turing’s work is at the heart of both. He was an eccentric genius, an Olympic-class runner, a witty and clear communicator about complicated ideas, and open and honest to a fault. The secret he kept to safeguard his country could have saved him; the secret he refused to keep to save himself meant his destruction at the hands of that same country.”

At the moment, it’s serializing on Tor.com, and will update daily for its entirety.

What’re you waiting for? Go read!

Vault of Midnight photos!



We had a really nice turnout for the Vault of Midnight event — despite the weather, the Ultalounge was packed! Lots of kind folks braved the cold and rain to see a cast of characters perform several scenes from Pete Sickman-Garner‘s newest book, Hey Mister: Come Hell or Highwater Pants.



My talk was also well-received, despite being a lot less funny, and having 100% less Satan. Regular readers will be pleased to note that I still remain utterly incapable of keeping my eyes open while someone is photographing me.


Best of all, I was greeted by lots of old friends, including Jim Ottaviani, Kat Hagedorn, Dan and Katie Merritt (of both Green Brain Comics and Kids Read Comics fame) Steve Lieber and Sara Ryan! (And some guy with a ponytail and his wife who keep showing up. Love you guys!)

It was a really nice time, and I’m so grateful to the folks at Vault for inviting me to be a part of the festival. Thanks so much for having me!

Vault of Midnight is hosting me for the Ann Arbor Book Festival

Hey, everybody!

Sorry for so long an absence — the wrapup from the Kickstarter really took a lot of energy, and I’ve been taking it easy for the last month or so.

This week marks a return — I will be doing an Author Talk this Friday evening from 7pm-9pm at Vault of Midnight in their Ultalounge as part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival‘s 2014 Book Crawl! I’ll be there along with Pete Sickman-Garner, of Top Shelf’s Hey Mister comics. If you’re in the area, come on down! Thanks again to Curtis and Liz and all the Vault crew for having me in. Can’t wait!

The hardcovers are shaping up!

Here’s a photo of a test run of the spine lettering, courtesy of Maryvonne:

1779831_10203386199875937_2081433855_n

We’re getting close!

Jane and Paul go KAPOW!

Paul and I were lucky enough to be asked to join the fifth show of comics art to visit Eastern Michigan University, this time called KAPOW! Comics Return to Eastern! Professor Rubenfeld, whom I first had for Art History twenty years ago (cough) is still extending his generosity to us after all this time, and he’s also managed to get art from lots of other talented artists, including David Petersen and Jeff Smith.

The show runs from March 10 through April 16, 2014 in the University Gallery at Eastern Michigan University, located in the EMU Student Center at 900 Oakwood Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. You can visit the show Mondays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

It’s also not too late to take in ‘Demented Detroit: Contemporary Cartoons and Comics from the Motor City‘, the show put together by Sean Bieri that’s being hosted at Henry Ford Community College. Its last day is Friday, March 21st, though, so hurry if you want to see lots of art by some great artists!

I have a comic in The Metro Times!

When I was still in high school, one of the coolest things I could think of to do in Ann Arbor — after going to Dave’s Comics and Dawn Treader — was to hang out in one of the two big art stores, Ulrich’s and Michigan Book and Supply. I’d stay in there for hours, picking out Prismacolors and wishing for fancy sketchbooks. I never left without a copy of The Metro Times, the free weekly newspaper that introduced me to alternative radio, Matt Groening (before The Simpsons, that’s how old I am, guys), and best of all, Lynda Barry. So you can only imagine how excited I was when I got a call from one of the editors at The Metro Times asking me to contribute a comic for an upcoming issue. It arrived this Wednesday, and I’m still on cloud nine about it. Big thanks to Walter J. Sports and Runway Photography, Colin Johnson and DB Family Photography & DJ who all generously allowed me to use their photos for reference for the comic, and to all the skaters who volunteered their words and likenesses!

Clockwork Game now on Comixology! And Bleeding Cool!

One of my kind Kickstarter supporters just emailed me to let me know that he sent word about Clockwork Game to an editor at Bleeding Cool, who liked the book enough to add it to her weekly roundup of new Comixology Submit reviews! Thanks so much, Nicholas! I am very lucky to have such generous readers like you, who are willing to give me such great word-of-mouth recommendations. I literally couldn’t do it without you!

Additionally, Clockwork Game is now available on Comixology, and I hope to have the Vögelein books up there soon, as well.

Clockwork Game now available through internet retailers!

Clockwork Game is now available on Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble, and Chapters/Indigo — and is also on GoodReads! If you liked the book and would be willing to do so, a review at any of these sites would be an enormous signal boost for the book. Thanks go out to Kickstarter backer — and fellow EMU alumni Stewart Tame for my very first review!

Brigid Alverson, writing for School Library Journal, was also kind enough to give Clockwork Game a nod in her recent article on new teen-friendly graphic novels for Spring 2014. Thanks, Brigid!

It’s also coming up on the last chance for comics stores to order Clockwork Game in the February 2014 PREVIEWS catalog from Diamond Comic Distributors! If you know any independent-creator-friendly comics stores that you think might be interested in stocking the book, please let them know about it in the next week or so. It’s Diamond Order # STK635961, and is on page 334, right between Fantagraphics and First Second in the green Comics and Graphic Novels section. I’m really grateful to all the folks who’ve already emailed me to let me know you’ve already helped spread the word. Thanks, you guys! You all know who you are, and you’re awesome.

I’m a guest at Wizard World Chicago!

I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been invited to be a guest at this year’s Wizard World Chicago (aka Chicago Comic-con)! The show will be held from August 21-24 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, just north of the city. This is the first time I’ve ever been granted this honor at a comic convention, so I’m really feeling blessed right now. Hope to see some of you there!

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